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‘Endless opportunities’

Master of education spring graduate motivated to help adult learners

special feature: Class of 2024

Part of a special feature celebrating and recognizing the Class of 2024 at Memorial.

By Claire Carter

Shelby Fudge is a Memorial University alumna (BA’22) — and is about to bolster that status.

Shelby Fudge is pictured smiling while sitting in a classroom next to a window. There is a gold sash in the upper left hand corner that says "special feature" in it.
Shelby Fudge
Photo: Submitted

Ms. Fudge is crossing the St. John’s Arts and Culture stage on Friday, May 31, to collect her master of education (post-secondary) degree during Memorial’s convocation ceremonies.

After her BA, the 2024 spring graduate found work quickly in Memorial’s Student Experience Office, before moving to the Fisheries and Marine Institute to work as a student liaison officer, then as a placement officer.

She says the roles unlocked a passion for helping adult learners.

Then, she returned to Memorial as a student again to complete her master’s degree entirely online, while continuing her full-time work at the university.

‘Exceptional educator’

Balancing the demands of graduate school while working and managing personal responsibilities was difficult, she says, but Ms. Fudge credits her strong support system with helping her navigate the challenge.

Despite not being on campus, she found her classes enjoyable.

She built a strong connection with a particular professor.

“Dr. Christine Arnold is an exceptional educator with a comprehensive understanding of student success in higher education,” said Ms. Fudge. “I had the privilege to take many of her classes throughout my master’s, and she had a positive influence in shaping my knowledge and perspectives as a student affairs professional.”

During her graduate degree program, Ms. Fudge was an active volunteer with the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services (CACUSS), an organization introduced to her by a mentor at the Marine Institute.

She supported the program development committee by helping to plan the 2024 CACUSS conference.

“My master of education degree will greatly benefit my current position and facilitate my career advancement later on.” — Shelby Fudge

Her involvement helped her connect with student affairs professionals from all over Canada while applying her course materials to real-life scenarios.

Ms. Fudge’s time with the Faculty of Education provided opportunities to collaborate with professionals in various fields, she says, including teaching and learning, student affairs, counselling, adult learning and more.

A substantial portion of her master’s research focused on addressing the soft skills gap in higher education, she says.

“Pursuing education at Memorial University doesn’t limit you to a career solely in teaching,” she said. “Instead, it opens doors to endless opportunities.”

Multiple awards

Ms. Fudge received both the Robert and Janet Crocker Graduate Scholarship in Education and the Canadian Federation of University Women Edith Creighton Scholarship.

She continues to work at the Marine Institute as a placement officer, assisting remotely operated vehicle and underwater vehicles and ocean mapping students with work-term placements.

“My master of education degree will greatly benefit my current position and facilitate my career advancement later on. The knowledge I have obtained will enable me to support my students as they prepare to enter the workforce and start their careers.”

The text "class of 2024" is in gold against a claret background with gold bubbles and subtle circles. There is a gold sash with the text "special feature" on it in the upper left-hand corner.

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